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Sept. 27

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX Prayers for all our Vincents on their feastday!I can think of two Fathers and one Brother in particular! Prayers, too, for St. Vincent Archabbey! May God
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 27, 2003
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      +PAX

      Prayers for all our Vincents on their feastday!I can think of two
      Fathers and one Brother in particular! Prayers, too, for St. Vincent
      Archabbey! May God fill them all with grace and peace and joy and
      love and salvation! God's will is best. All is mercy and grace.
      Thanks so much! JL

      January 27, May 28, September 27
      Chapter 7: On Humility


      Let a man consider
      that God is always looking at him from heaven,
      that his actions are everywhere visible to the divine eyes
      and are constantly being reported to God by the Angels.
      This is what the Prophet shows us
      when he represents God as ever present within our thoughts,
      in the words "Searcher of minds and hearts is God" (Ps. 7:10)
      and again in the words "The Lord knows the thoughts of men" (Ps.
      93:11).
      Again he says,
      "You have read my thoughts from afar" (Ps. 138:3)
      and "The thoughts of people will confess to You" (Ps. 75:11).

      In order that he may be careful
      about his wrongful thoughts, therefore,
      let the faithful brother say constantly in his heart,
      "Then shall I be spotless before Him,
      if I have kept myself from my iniquity" (Ps. 17:24).


      REFLECTION


      "Consider," "constantly," "careful" and others: the mindfulness words
      are all over this reading! In fact, looking back to the first word of
      the Holy Rule, "Listen," we could even say that listening itself is a
      very focused form of mindfulness.

      Why is mindfulness so important to St. Benedict? We find the answer
      in this reading. The Lord is the searcher of our thoughts and minds,
      He knows our thoughts. Even though the quotes play here a bit with
      some contradiction, stating that God sees from afar, nevertheless the
      message is clear: God searches human thought because He is present in
      human minds. Even in our evil thoughts, the omnipresence of God
      cannot be avoided. One thing that makes such thoughts evil is that we
      drag our minds, and the presence of God right along with them, into
      slime.

      Mindfulness is important as keeping guard, but it is also important
      as a practice of the presence of God. Rest assured, we do not "put"
      God into our minds; He is already there. Mindfulness in this sense is
      very closely akin to the Carmelite Br. Lawrence's "Practice of the
      Presence of God."

      We do not need to "find" God, we need to clean our lenses or maybe
      get an altogether new prescription for our glasses. God is with us,
      He is within, He is always there. Our careful response to this
      presence must be twofold. Yes, we watch our behavior, but we also
      maintain focus on WHY we watch: because God is present in our minds
      and hearts. We must keep our eyes on both things.

      If you have a small child in your home, you watch many, many things
      you would not dream of watching if the child were not there. I know
      this all too well. I have a house largely set up for adults. Put an
      inquisitive three year old in such a milieu and my heart beats faster
      as I try to get cleaning supplies out of reach and warn the parents
      of this or that hazard. Presence changes things and ought to change
      us. We could very well be terribly sorry if we leave everything
      exactly as it was.

      A house changes when a guest enters. Don't ask me how, I don't know,
      but I have cared for the guesthouse for seven years now, and I know
      it is true. That's what mindfulness points us to: the presence of a
      Guest. We have to be aware of the Guest for the change to happen. In
      my guesthouse years, I have more than once felt the house was empty
      because I didn't know it wasn't. (This can, alas, be embarrassing at
      times, but no details....) Mindfulness is always knowing the Guest is
      there.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      jeromeleo@...
      Petersham, MA
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